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Assessing Spirituality

When first getting to know someone and as you begin dating, assessing the other person’s level of spirituality is important. Why? Because the greater the mismatch spiritually between the both of you, the greater the challenges tend to be in the relationship. How does that make sense? If the other person is much stronger spiritually than you, shouldn’t that be a plus? For them personally, yes. But not necessarily for you both in the relationship.

A highly spiritual person tends to be very devoted and strict with their habits. If that is very different than your habits, these differences can and probably will lead to conflict and resentment with you “not being spiritual enough for them” and you probably not improving soon enough and well enough for them. Conversely, if the other person is notably at a lower level than you with their spiritual devotion and commitment, you will be more likely to have conflict and resentment towards them for “not being spiritual enough”. And you could also get upset when they don’t change and improve in these ways well enough and soon enough.

(A final point here as well: couples have a better chance for success when they have more similarities than differences in general, both spirituality and with many other issues).

Assessing Spirituality:

You can assess the other person’s level of spirituality and gospel devotion by considering the following factors (as well as your own):

*Prayers: do they pray at least once a day? Are they willing to pray in front of you and with you? Do they pray before every meal? In their prayers, are they brief, general, and vague, or do they assess specific, particular areas? Do they have some notable things to say? Do they both give thanks in their prayers as well as ask for help? Do them seem like they have true gratitude and humility in their prayers—or do they seem to just be going through the motions?

*Scripture Study/Use of Spiritual Materials: How often to they read or listen to the scriptures? Daily? Do they talk about and reference scriptures in your conversations? Also, do they read or listen to other church related books or magazines? How are they with the Come Follow Me program? Do they enjoy watching church videos? Do they regularly read/listen to/watch conference talks? Are they willing to review these materials with you together? How do your conversations go about this information?

*Church Attendance: do they regularly attend both hours of church? Do they also attend other meetings like stake conference, family home evenings ward, or other ward, stake, or regional activities? What is their attitude about church attendance? Is it positive or negative? If they choose not to attend, what are their reasons? And how often does that happen?

*Callings: do they have callings and what are they? Do they regularly and faithfully serve in their callings and fulfill them? How much effort do they put into their callings? What is their attitude about their calling: positive or complaining? And how do they act with their ministering? Do they do that as well and what is their attitude towards it?

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